How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)

Teenagers studying in library
Image Source / Getty Images

The German verb nehmen means to take. Here we will conjugate it in all its tenses and moods. While using the wrong conjugation probably wouldn't stop you from being understood, using the correct tense will make you sound more intelligent. Learning to use the proper conjugation will show that you have a better grasp on the language. It will also make you easier to understand.

Stem-Changing Verbs

German, like many other languages, has what is known as stem-changing verbs.

This means that the stem or ending of the word is what changes based on who the action is referring to. These endings will remain consistent throughout the language for regular stem-changing verbs. Unlike in English, where I take and we take uses the same form of the verb in German the stems of the verb would change. This can make learning the language easier because you only need to remember the roots of most verbs. Unfortunately, nehmen is also an irregular verb. This means there are times when it does not follow the normal rules of stem-changing verbs.

Present Tense • Präsens

Principal Parts: nehmen (nimmt) nahm genommen
Imperative (Commands): (du) Nimm! (ihr) Nehmt! Nehmen Sie!

Present Tense - Präsens

Stem-Changing Verbs: The verb NEHMEN is both a stem-changing verb and an irregular (strong) verb. Notice the change from e to i in the du and er/sie/es present tense forms. The past participle is genommen.
ich nehmeI take/am taking
du nimmstyou take/are taking
er nimmt
sie nimmt
es nimmt
he takes/is taking
she takes/is taking
it takes/is taking
wir nehmenwe take/are taking
ihr nehmtyou (guys) take/are taking
sie nehmenthey take/are taking
Sie nehmenyou take/are taking
  Wir nehmen den Zug.
  We're taking the train.
  Er nimmt das Buch.
  He's taking the book.

Nehmen: Conjugated in All Tenses

Past Tenses • Vergangenheit

The German verb nehmen (to take) conjugated in all its tenses and moods

Simple Past Tense - Imperfekt

ich nahmI took
du nahmstyou took
er nahm
sie nahm
es nahm
he took
she took
it took
wir nahmenwe took
ihr nahmtyou (guys) took
sie nahmenthey took
Sie nahmenyou took

Compound Past Tense (Pres. Perfect) - Perfekt

ich habe genommenI took/have taken
du hast genommenyou took/have taken
er hat genommen
sie hat genommen
es hat genommen
he took/has taken
she took/has taken
it took/has taken
wir haben genommenwe took/have taken
ihr habt genommenyou (guys) took
have taken
sie haben genommenthey took/have taken
Sie haben genommenyou took/have taken
See more verbs in our 20 Most-Used German Verbs.


Past Perfect Tense - Plusquamperfekt

ich hatte genommenI had taken
du hattest genommenyou had taken
er hatte genommen
sie hatte genommen
es hatte genommen
he had taken
she had taken
it had taken
wir hatten genommenwe had taken
ihr hattet genommenyou (guys) had taken
sie hatten genommenthey had taken
Sie hatten genommenyou had taken
See more verbs in our 20 Most-Used German Verbs.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Flippo, Hyde. "How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)." ThoughtCo, Sep. 24, 2017, Flippo, Hyde. (2017, September 24). How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take). Retrieved from Flippo, Hyde. "How to Conjugate the German Verb Nehmen (to Take)." ThoughtCo. (accessed September 25, 2017).